Despite fewer people on the road, fatal car accident rates rose sharply across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Driving behaviors changed significantly during the 2020 economic lockdown. Many people who were still driving used the less crowded streets to drive with abandon. People drank and drove and sped more while also wearing their seatbelts less. The trends were felt in Tennessee, too.
In Davidson County, the fatal crash rate went from 0.22 in 2019 to 0.24 in 2020.
Interestingly, the overall Tennessee rate of accidents with injury declined from 19.7 in 2019 to 15.1 per 100,000 population in 2020. Davidson County has the second highest overall crash rate of any county with about 48.6 crashes.
For Sumner County, a similar pattern emerged where there were more fatal accidents, but fewer crashes overall. The county's total crash rate is 19.4 per 100,000 population.
Driving factors for fatal crashes
The shift in driving behavior during COVID-19 is still being studied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the most recent report about the pandemic issued by the agency, researchers identified crash factors and demographics that showed the largest increases in 2020. Fatal crashes went up for:
- Occupant ejections, 20%
- Unrestrained occupants/no seatbelts, 15%
- Urban interstates, 15%
- Speeding, 11%
- Local rural roads, 11%
- Weekend, 9%
- Alcohol-involved, 9%
Fatalities decline in few key areas
While early estimates indicate an increase in fatal accidents, some categories are showing signs of a decrease. More research is likely to confirm these changes, the NHTSA says. So far, preliminary data points to declines in:
- Large truck fatal accidents decreased by 2%
- People ages 65 and older were in 9% fewer fatal accidents
- There is no significant change in the number of fatal pedestrian crashes
Where the Nashville-area car crashes are
Common places where traffic accidents occur include rural areas, stoplights, intersections, parking lots and garages. Some local sites where crashes are common include:
- I-40 at I-24
- I-24 at Briley Parkway
- I-24 near Antioch and the I-24 Corridor between Rutherford County, Murfreesboro, and Nashville
Heavily-travelled intersections also pose a higher risk for a crash. In the greater Nashville area some of the busiest intersections include:
- Old Hickory Boulevard at Franklin Road in Brentwood
- Nolensville Pike at Harding Place in Nashville
- I-65 at I-24, Nashville
- I-40 at I-65, Nashville
- Franklin Road at Maryland Way/Church Street, Brentwood
- Concord Road at Wilson Pike, Brentwood
Tennessee car accident victim rights
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in the greater Nashville area it's important that you understand your rights. A local lawyer can help you understand how Tennessee law applies to your case and knows how to get you the most compensation for your claim.
Local lawyer with winning experience
The Law Office of Eric Beasley knows the local justice system. Founding lawyer Eric Beasley was born and raised in Goodlettsville. He fights hard for the injured people in the community that has supported him all his life.
We understand that money is tight after an accident, that's why we offer free case reviews to people injured in Tennessee accidents. In your review we will listen to the details about your accident and your injuries. Then we can help you realize the full value of your claim and weigh your legal options.
Attorney Beasley often represents accident victims on contingency. This means our fee is paid for by the insurance companies — not you. Our pay is calculated into your final settlement or verdict. We only get paid when we win.
Call or email Tennessee's trusted local personal injury lawyer, Eric Beasley, and get started on your case today. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.